22 February 2023, Cagayan de Oro City – Three (3) municipalities of Lanao del Norte, namely Salvador, Tubod and Maigo were visited by the National Nutrition Council X to advocate for the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project (PMNP), and the continuous support for the nutrition programs.
Nutrition Program Coordinator (NPC) Gladys Mae S. Fernandez led the NNC X team in its monitoring and technical assistance in the local government unit (LGU) of Salvador. Municipal Administrator Sohailah L. Tawantawan-Mindanalo and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) Jenny Trixie V. Trinidad presented their plans for the nutrition program for CY 2023, while NNC X advocated for the designation or addition of personnel under nutrition, formulation of Municipal Nutrition Action Plan, the PMNP, and sustained support for the Tutok Kainan Dietary Supplementation Program.
Further, the Barangay Nutrition Scholars of Salvador were convened to be refreshed on the correct measurement of weight, length/height and mid-upper arm circumference. Technical staff from NNC X led the demonstration. Development Management Officer for TK DSP, Ms. Lizelle L. Bete further reminded the project areas and barangays to comply with the requirements for the recently commenced program.
Another LGU visited by the team was the municipality of Tubod. Mayor Dionisio Y. Cabahug, Jr. stressed the importance of food security and enhancing the capacities of their people. He also shared of the upcoming project at Brgy. Palao, which they aim to be a satellite municipal hall, an agriculture, tourism and entrepreneur hub.
NNC X likewise advocated that MNAO Cholie Mae Lahoylahoy be accompanied with an additional staff who will help coordinate the nutrition program. In response, Mayor Cabahug instructed the MNAO to coordinate and lobby to the HR the creation of Nutritionist-Dietitian or Nutrition Officer position.
On the other hand, Mayor Rafael C. Rizalda of LGU Maigo, together with Kag. on Health Michael Biliran, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Uldarico Obregon and MNAO Neneth Patria discussed ways forward on how to improve the nutrition programs in the municipality.
Mayor Rizalda gave a marching order to intensify the collection, validation and utilization of Operation Timbang Plus and other data collected by the government agencies. In the case of OPT Plus data, Mayor Rizalda emphasized that the families with malnourished children must be identified and referred for proper interventions. Among his suggestions is to employ the fathers belonging to households with undernourished children for livelihood and public works infrastructure projects. Lastly, he expressed his thanks to the NNC for the guidance, and committed to personally give feedback regarding the PMNP meeting that he is set to attend.
LGUs, especially under the PMNP will be under intensive supervision to ensure mobilization of their functionaries for improved nutrition outcomes and the attainment of project indicators. Thus, hiring of additional manpower can help implement and coordinate the PMNP, along with other nutrition related programs.